On Wednesday Barack Obama made history by becoming the first US President in history to openly endorse same-sex marriage in the US.
About bloody time, I say.
In an interview with ABC News
, Obama had the following to say:
"I had hesitated on gay marriage, in part, because I thought civil unions would be sufficient," the president said. "I was sensitive to the fact that -- for a lot of people -- that the word marriage is something that provokes very powerful traditions and religious beliefs."
But, Obama said, his thinking shifted as he witnessed committed same-sex marriages and thought about U.S. service personnel who were "not able to commit themselves in a marriage."
Opposition leader Mitt Romney (who believes that a known-fraudster found gold plates from god in up-state New York) came out in full defiance of same-sex marriage. Despite his predecessor George W Bush supporting civil unions: a step shy of marriage.
The move has been greeted with adulation from the gay and lesbian community. Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese said that the president's comments would "inspire thousands more conversations around kitchen tables and in church pews".
that Obama had seen a spike in political donations since the announcement on Wednesday. "The phone calls went on until one in the morning after the president spoke — people calling saying `Where do I go, what can I do to help, what events are coming up,"' said Robert Zimmerman, a Long Island, N.Y., Obama bundler. "People I've been seeking out for campaign support for months have been calling me saying, `I'm ready to give."'
Of course; not everybody was jumping for joy
; Cardinal Timothy Dolan, president of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, labelled Mr Obama's remarks "deeply saddening".
"We cannot be silent in the face of words or actions that would undermine the institution of marriage, the very cornerstone of our society," he said in a statement. "The people of this country, especially our children, deserve better."
This is, of course, nonsense. The biggest problem facing same-sex couples and those in favour of marriage equality is the notion that marriage is some sort of religious institution, rather than a social or legal one.
Regardless, the ‘sanctity’ of marriage was violated a long time ago. Can any of those who oppose same-sex marriage tell me why the marriage of a great philanthropist like Stephen Fry to a life-long partner is wrong? Even better still, can these same people explain how Britney Spears’ 55-hour marriage
is upholding the values of family and tradition that we all apparently hold so dearly?
Continuing, what about the beautiful life-long union of Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries
? A wedding that cost $10 million USD, but saw the couple actually profit from the ceremony. Their marriage lasted for 72 days. Is this really the bench-mark for the ceremony of marriage in society, based on the gender of the orifices people pleasure? Preposterous.
Obama seems to be fond of making history; and I applaud him for being the first President to lead this change. In fifty-years, the outlook in same-sex marriage is going to mirror the way we look at the civil-rights movement of black America: something to be seen predominantly in textbooks.
It also begs the question - if we were to allow such a victory to religious opposition - where would the fight end? Would the discussion move onto abortion? Onto contraception? Onto the stoning of adulterers?
It is the war-cry of the religious opposition to same-sex marriage that it will ‘destroy the value of family’ or ‘have unforeseen consequences’. Well, I challenge any of you who oppose this human-right to explain to me why homosexuality is not just a form of sex: but a form of love. It deserves our respect for that reason, and it’s high time that respect is recognised.